The holidays can be painful during grief. Here are some reminders and tips for how you can get through the holiday season while grieving.
Your feelings are valid, no matter what they are. It's okay if the holidays aren't a happy time, and it's okay if the holidays are a happy time.
It's okay to talk about your loved one.
Feel your feelings, and don't make yourself pretend to be happy if you're not.
You are not alone. The holidays bring up complex feelings for many people.
It's okay to reach out for help. This help can be from people you know or people you don't.
There will be a time when holidays are happy. It's okay if that hasn't happened for you yet.
Make an escape plan (AKA, a way you can leave celebrations if they become too much for you).
Tell your friends if holidays are normally hard for you. If you tell them ahead of time, they will know to check in on you and support you.
Develop good coping mechanisms. Knowing how to cope with hard situations is essential. Here's a list of helpful ones.
Keep a list with you of coping mechanisms that work. It's easy to forget what helps when you're upset, so this list can help you remember.
Include your loved one in the holiday somehow. Come up with a way to honor them or create a tradition involving them.
Make sure you're getting enough sleep, drinking water, and taking care of yourself.
Take a break from social media. It becomes a lot during the holidays.
Make plans that you can look forward to, such as calling a friend.
The holidays can be difficult, so hopefully these reminders and tips can assist you through them.
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Written by Natalie Adams, the creator of Teenage Grief Sucks.